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Four years, eight semesters. That is how long I have been at The Lumberjack.

We had our last editorial board meeting this morning, and we did all the traditional stuff: awards, gift exchange and a potluck. It felt like routine, since I’ve been sitting in edboard for a while now. Afterward, though, I felt like a chapter has closed. Truly, it has.

I worked for a year in my first position as a reporter. This is where I learned the most about writing journalistically and reporting. I remember my first article got sent back to me because I covered an event and wrote it with personal pronouns, like “I.” I remember times like that and I see how far I’ve come. Other times, I cringe because I know so much more now.

I used to write everything down, too. I would carry around a notebook and interview people and write their quotes word for word. I was a really fast writer back then. Now, not so much. I record everything, like a normal person.

After a year, I became assistant features editor. The features editor was Megan Troutman, who also originally began this College Chronicles column. We still chat, too, and it is so nice to have met life-long friends during college. During this role, I learned a lot about working with reporters and how to edit. I learned basic InDesign from Megan, too, which would help me later in college.

I did that for a semester and then became features editor. Pretty much the same things, but at a much higher scale and with more responsibilities. I thrived in this position, though. Makenna Lepowsky was my assistant and she is also someone I still talk to as I continue life after college. We were the dream team!

Then I became director of digital content, otherwise known as web chief. I did this for a year. I think this was one of the most impactful positions I had at The Lumberjack. I learned about web publishing, social media analytics and content management systems. I’m glad I had this position because those skills in any field are something employers desire and I can say that I have them because of my time at The Lumberjack.  

I was managing editor my first semester of senior year. In this role, I edited a large amount of stories as well as conducted the newsroom, which is one of the hardest things to do. Although challenging, I valued the experience that I had as managing editor.

I am now circulation director—only for one more week. Wednesday will be my last paper route for The Lumberjack. I enjoyed being a part of so many different departments and gaining good experience from every role I had, but now it’s time to pass the baton. Robyn Monroe will be the new circulation director next semester. She will be the new paper girl. The legacy has been established.

I am still job searching, but I am hoping that I can get a career in publishing like I’ve always wanted. I want to be a book editor one day, surrounded by books I’ve helped see through production. Whenever I think about a job like that, I get so excited. Reading has always been my passion and I will pursue that until I get there.

The Lumberjack has had so many students go through it and some are now editors of this very column. That’s what The Lumberjack does. It prepares people to do excellent work in the “real world.”

Well, “real world,” here I come. Also, cue “Graduation” by Vitamin C.

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Ariel Cianfarano is the circulation director of The Lumberjack, Northern Arizona University's student newspaper. College Chronicles aims to connect Flag Live! readers to various aspects of campus life.

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